Two Mayo men to be Rose escorts

John Marren from Charlestown

John Marren from Charlestown

John Marren from Charlestown and Thomas McCormack from Claremorris have been getting a crash course in sheep shearing, turf cutting, spud peeling, and poitin brewing.

Contrary to the images that might bring to mind, they are not taking part in a bizarre new Irish version of a Bear Grylls survival programme.

Instead, they are in training to be Rose escorts at the world famous Rose of Tralee Festival in Kerry later this summer.

The sheep shearing and turf cutting was part of a boot camp the pair attended to whip the 32 Irish lads into shape and get them ready to provide the Roses with heapings of Irish chivalry, craic, and company. 

The Mayo escorts beat off stiff competition to win their coveted place at the festival with a Rose on their arm.

More than 200 men from all over the country applied for the prestigious positions and just 32 were picked.

The 2015 Rose of Tralee International Festival takes place in Tralee from August 14 to 18.

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